Saturday, June 24, 2006

Not Having a Plan will kill your Time Manageability

Do you ever find that you are losing time, not due to a lack of organization so much as a lack of direction? Not having a plan of action for each and every day is a massive productivity killer and a critical time management faux pas. You don't want to have a day that is so structured that there is no flexibility, at the same time you don't want to have day in which half your day is wasted attempting to decide what to do next. Usually what happens in this situation is that you wind up playing spider solitaire or hitting the message boards while you try to decide what to do next. You don't have to raise your hand or shout Amen-we've all had those days and if you are completely honest with yourself you are aware that days like this are costing you a lot of money.

As work at home professionals, we are accountable only to ourselves and sometimes the temptation to pass the time rather than plan it is overwhelming. This is a very bad way to start your business day. My first point is that you must have a plan. You can call it a plan, a goal, an agenda, whatever works best for you, and occasionally you need to mark time on your calendar specifically for goal planning. This is a must if you find yourself having one or more days in a week that you don't have a specific plan of action for the vast majority of your 'office hours' having an hour free each day for 'unexpected projects' is perfectly acceptable and there are generally all kinds of things that can fill that hour if it isn't needed for a specific task. Other than that hour, you want your day pretty full so that you can maximize the use of your work hours and not have work left over at the end of your day to interfere with your 'play time.'

Here is some information I have found that should help you plan your days for the most efficient use of your time. Remember that poor time management costs more than just dollars over a long period of time and you do not want to allow yourself to develop bad time management habits. First, visit, this site offers many time management tips in addition to other resources for your personal development. There are some absolutely wonderful tips in the section aptly named "time management tips" on how to better manage your time.

Then visit, not only does this website offer time management advice it also offers helpful tips on goal setting as well. If you use this site as a tool it offers a great amount of advice that is solid about good and bad time management habits and how to create good habits. You will also find a time management course here that could prove vital for you to develop the proper skills that would suit your needs best. This site also offers a free time management pack and newsletter that offer a continuous stream of hints and helps for creating more effective time management habits. Also mentioned on this site is the Achieve Planner, which I am hearing more and more about lately. It seems quite pricey at $50 for a planner but if it helps you achieve your optimal productivity, and releases you from the bondage that poor time management skills create, I would say that it is money very well spent. There is also the option for a free 30-day trial so you can try it before you buy it, which always gets a thumbs up from me.

I also recommend that once you have identified your goals for the day you make note of them so that you don't forget. Here are some free programs that will help you do just that. Mo Run at is a free sticky note service. It seems that there is a great deal of competition among the freeware writers and developers to create the absolute 'best' sticky product on the market. There is also Easy Note at and my personal favorite, perhaps because it is the most advanced that I have found to date and I can chose my colors, is Sticky which can be found at

Following my advice won't miraculously cure you of those days when you simply aren't motivated to really accomplish anything, but it can prevent you from making excuses for yourself. I hope that by reading this you will decide it is time to take action, create a plan for your business, and utilize the skills you are learning not only to organize and optimize your business but your personal life as well. Imagine how much time will be left for the fun things in life when you streamline a method for dealing with those that aren't so much fun.

About the author::

Peter Dobler is a 20+ year veteran in the IT business. He is an active Real Estate Investor and a successful Internet business owner. Collect more free software and bonus content for your own web site at

Visit our sponsor


Post a Comment

<< Home